(SESAME CASHEW BARS CONT.) SESAME SEEDS Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They have a high oil content and are the main ingredi- ent in tahini. You can buy them toasted or untoasted. We prefer to buy them toasted for baking purposes because they are drier and will stick to what you are baking more easily. To toast your own sesame seeds, use a small non- stick pan over medium-low heat and spread sesame seeds in an even layer in the pan. Stir them every 30 seconds and continue to toast them until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes. HONEY We love experimenting with different flavors of honey. You can really alter the flavor of a dish by using a bold-fla- vored honey. You can brush the Sesame Financiers (page 196) with a chestnut honey, buckwheat honey, or pine honey if you can find it. Go with something more floral on the Persian Love Cake (page 183); our favorites are linden flower honey and sunflower honey. In the Sesame Cashew Bars (page 159), we use a raw honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries in Vermont, because we prefer something thick to create the caramel layer. Don’t be afraid to ex- periment or splurge on a special jar of honey, or start a honey collection of your own. Very simple to make, these cookies are everything in one bite: buttery and crunchy yet tender. These shortbreads work well when you need cookie crumbs for a crust or something to layer with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. They are also the perfect afternoon pick-me-up with coffee, tea, or our Tahini Hot Chocolate (page 206). MAKES 2 DOZEN TAHINI SHORTBREAD COOKIES 11⁄4 sticks (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 cup tahini (see Note below) 13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1⁄2 cup toasted sesame seeds (see page 241) Lightly flour a work surface. Combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and tahini in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to the prepared work surface. Divide the dough in half and knead until smooth. Roll each piece of dough into a log approximately 1 inch in diameter. Spread 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds onto a small plate. Roll each log in the sesame seeds, coating the log completely. Wrap each log tightly in parchment paper, twisting each end. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or up to over- night. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the logs into 1⁄4-inch-thick coins and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake until firm around the edges and not colored, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. COOK’S NOTE Sometimes tahini has a layer of oil that separates, so be sure to incorporate all the oil into the paste before measuring to prevent this dough from being too crumbly. If there is a visible layer of oil on top, it is easier to combine by pouring the contents of the jar out and stirring to combine. It is especially important in this recipe that the oil is fully incorporated or your cookie will not come together. © Hundred-to-One LLC 2017. All rights reserved.